Mustangs wrestling dominate Falcons again
To say that this has been a one-sided rivalry would be an understatement.
Since Fairfield High split back into Ludlowe and Warde just over a decade ago, the Mustangs wrestling team had dominated its Falcons counterparts, winning every match between the two schools, mostly by impressive margins.
And this year was no different as Warde won nine matches - including six by pin -- en route to a commanding 51-22 victory over its town rival.
“The song remains the same,” Ludlowe head coach Nick Garroffolo said. “They’re always better than us, especially in a dual meet, that’s for sure.”
Warde’s Tim Kane (132), Jack Price (138) and Charlie Kane (145) opened the meet with three straight pins to put the Mustangs in command. Matt Cuoco (182), John Ocana (220) and Alex Lobsenz (285) also pinned their opponents while Noah Zuckerman (113), Brandon Moutinho (120) and Alex Steele (126) all won by decision.
“In every dual there are some key matches and in the key matches that were competitive, we managed to win them or dominate them. The kids really stepped up today,” Warde head coach Jason Shaughnessy said. “I’m always stressed for this (match). The team is … you want to be the best team in your own town. And we’ve won it every year for the past 11 years. They’re (Ludlowe) a good team this year, they’re a top caliber team and we wanted to make sure that we wrestled our best.”
Warde is currently ranked No. 4 in the state poll, while Ludlowe is receiving votes in the poll and stands two places out of the Top 10.
“(Warde) is a very good team but I thought we wrestled very well,” Garroffolo said. “There were a lot of good matches. It was close for a while. If we could have won at 113 and 120 we would have scored over 30 points against them. That’s saying something. The match was a hard-fought match. Warde’s a good team and we weren’t good enough.”
Starting at 132 pounds, Warde got off to a fast start as Tim Kane, the defending State Open champion at 126 pounds, pinned Ludlowe’s Sebastian Bastos-Neto is just 35 seconds. That was followed by two more Mustang pins, Price at 138 and Charlie Kane, the reigning FCIAC, Class L, State Open and New England champion, at 145 pounds. Price needed just 36 seconds to pin Justin Hathaway and it took Kane 1:23 to pin Thomas Murray.
But Ludlowe answered as Bobby Clark (152 pounds), the defending Class L champ, pinned Kris Gjinaj with one second left in the final period, Marcus Sherrod posted a 17-6 major decision over Joseph Gjinaj and Chase Lind pinned Tallis Santos to get the Falcons within two points at 18-16.
The Mustangs extended the lead as Matt Cuoco (182) pinned Dominick Mastro in 1:05 but Lee Stenild-Johanson pinned David Abrahams in 1:10 to get Ludlowe back within two points before Warde’s John Ocana (220) pinned Matthew Smith in just 20 seconds to push the Mustangs’ advantage to 30-22.
Warde Alex Lobsenz (285) pinned Billy Stapleton in the second period and when Ludlowe forfeited the 106-pound class, the Mustangs locked up the match. And in perhaps the best match of the night, Warde’s Noah Zuckerman (113) rallied from a 6-3 deficit after two periods to defeat Zach Taylor 8-7.
“I think we worked hard and our guys wanted it,” Shaughnessy said. “In the close, hard, longer matches, we tend to excel.”
Warde 54, Ludlowe 22
132 - Time Kane (W) pinned Sebastain Bastos-Neto (L) 35 seconds; 138 - Jack Price (W) pinned Justin Hathaway (L) 36 seconds; 145 - Charlie Kane (W) pinned Thomas Murray (L) 1:23; 152 - Bobby Clark (L) pinned Kris Gjinaj (W) 5:59; 160 - Marcus Sherrod (L) major dec. Joseph Gjinaj (W) 17-6; 170 - Chase Lind (L) pinned Tallis Santos (W) 1:48; 182 - Matt Cuoco (W) pinned Dominick Mastro (L) 1:05; 195 - Lee Stenild-Johanson (L) pinned David Abrahams (W) 1:10; 220 - John Ocana (W) pinned Matthew Smith (L) 20 seconds; 285 - Alex Lobsenz (W) pinned Billy Stapleton (L) 3:15; 106 - Chris Murray (W) won by forfeit; 113 - Noah Zuckerman (W) dec. Zach Taylor (L) 8-7; 120 - Brandon Moutinho (W) dec. Adam Arnaout (L) disqualification; 126 -- Alex Steele (W) dec. Austin Sherman (L) 3-2.